Wednesday, January 12, 2011

France loves "The Mentalist," for some reason

Yes, the French are so much more sophisticated than us Americans, aren't they? They enjoy fine wine and cheese, and they've got their great culture and all those amazing buildings with their rich history and etc.

Well, I was actually in France for a few days last summer. They have McDonald's there. They actually have several McDonald's there. Don't believe me? You think it's all foie gras and coq au vin? Take a look at this:

That's a photo of a McDonald's in France, near Provence. Actually, it looks so much like a McDonald's in America that you might not believe this photo was taken in France. So, here is another photo:

French McChicken sandwich.

I'm not knocking McDonald's. McDonald's is one of my favorite restaurants. I have written about it quite a bit. But I'm saying, don't believe that stuff about the French being ohsosophisticated and hoity toity.

I went to a lot of different restaurants in France. I tried a lot of different foods. The McDonald's was the most crowded restaurant I went to. Second most crowded?

KFC.

Yes, they have KFCs in France.

They also  have "The Mentalist." That's a television cozy-mystery type show about a former "psychic" who consults with the California Bureau of Investigation. He helps them solve the crimes that they can't solve on their own. Which is to say, he helps them solve absolutely every case that they work on.

Anyway, every week there's a new crime and every week said crime gets solved and wrapped up in a neat little bow (except the "Red John" case -- "Red John" is the serial killer who killed The Mentalist's family) and then it's on to next week's case. The Mentalist uses unconventional means to solve his crime. He's rebellious. He plays by his own rules.

What I'm saying is, it is like almost every other crime show on television. The guy who plays The Mentalist,  Simon Baker, is a charming and likable actor. The other actors are total nonentities who could be replaced with furniture and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

This show is the number one show in France. Yes, the McDonald's-eating people of France love them some "Mentalist."
He might not have caught Red John, but "The Mentalist's" Patrick Jane certainly hypnotized France.
Some 38 episodes, which broadcaster TF1 airs on Wednesdays in primetime, appeared in Gaul's top 100 list of most-watched TV shows for 2010.
Produced by Bruno Heller for Warner Bros. TV, "Mentalist" ranked as France's top TV series in a year with few TV ratings hits.

As in recent years, U.S. imports held sway. "House" registered 11 top 100 rankings, "CSI" six, "Criminal Minds" five and "CSI: Miami" three.
Only six French series made the cut, led by three episodes of TF1's Monday primetime comedy "Une famille formidable," which first aired 1992 and wrapped its eighth season last year.
Much as I was not knocking McDonald's earlier, I'm also not knocking "The Mentalist." Gosh help me I watch the show myself. But France? Really? France?

Number one in France?

I shouldn't be surprised. Here's another photo from my trip to France:


That was taken in one of the hotels in which I stayed. It's a photo of a television screen, on which you can see a scene from the television show "Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman." What you can't see, because this is a still photo, is that the image depicted on the television did not move.  It didn't move for several hours (I rechecked it).

Yes, in France, they have a channel that is devoted to showing one still image from a mostly forgotten American television program about frontier life. Or, maybe there was something wrong with the television in my hotel room. That's not really my point.

My point is: Really, France?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems the French can't get enough of the dregs of American popular culture. Next they'll be hot for Dr. Drew.